Torey Hayden - Murphy's Boy (SILENT BOY)

Murphy's Boy - Torey L. Hayden

Victoria Lynn Hayden, known as Torey L. Hayden (born May 21, 1951 in Livingston, Montana) is a child psychologist, special education teacher, university lecturer and writer of non-fiction books based on her real-life experiences with teaching and counselling children with special needs.
Subjects covered in her books include autism, Tourette syndrome, sexual abuse, fetal alcohol syndrome, and elective mutism (now called selective mutism), her specialty


His name was Kevin but his keepers called him Zoo Boy.  He didn’t talk. He hid under tables and surrounded himself with a cage of chairs. He hadn’t been out of the building in the four years since he’d come in. He was afraid of water and wouldn’t take a shower.  He was afraid to be naked, to change his clothes.  He was nearly 16.

Desperate to see change in the boy, the staff of Kevin’s adolescent treatment center hired Hayden. As Hayden read to him and encouraged him to read, crawling down into his cage of chairs with him, Kevin talked. Then he started to draw and paint and showed himself to have a quick wit and a rolling, seething, murderous hatred for his stepfather

Hayden writes very readably. Though Kevin must have been scary, he is rarely scary to her and this is not a frightening book. It is reassurance we all need. In the wreck of this world, love still works. We can heal each other, if we listen.


MURPHY’S BOY (SILENT BOY) remained Torey’s favorite book for many years. 

“I felt I had found my writing voice with MURPHY’S BOY, “ she says.

  “My youth showed a little too much for comfort in ONE CHILD and I would completely re-write SOMEBODY ELSE’S KIDS, if I had my choice.”